Social Media Saved Me

Social Media Saved Me

  • Blog

In this month’s newsletter we’re celebrating Women’s History Month, the perfect time to reflect on how magnificent women are and how wellness brands can help them take back their own bodily narratives and be their best, and healthiest, selves.

March is Women’s History Month, and it’s the perfect time to recognize and celebrate all the ways that women consistently make the world a better place. It’s also an important time to highlight how women’s bodies and minds have regularly been misunderstood, contested, and misdiagnosed in the medical community. In this month’s newsletter, we’re going to take a look at some of these trends and the women who have used social media to call them out, to persevere, and to triumph.

Let’s begin with the physical: research shows that over the past two years, online conversations around women’s health concerns being discounted or dismissed by doctors have increased by 31%. The conversation is so prevalent that posters have begun using the hashtag #MedicalGaslighting.

For years, women have battled the stigma that they’re unreliable narrators of their own physical experiences. Doctors often discount their symptoms as imagined or fabricated, and many women have shared stories about feeling gaslit and made to feel that they are “going crazy.”

Instagram users @mikzazon and @monicas_so_called_life are perfect examples of what many women experience every time they go to the doctor.

Beyond the realm of the physical, women also struggle with mental health recognition. Many online users report that doctors have labeled them “emotional” “overly-dramatic,” “overthinking,” or simply coping with the symptoms of their monthly period. Doctors’ lack of respect for women’s articulations of their own mental health are so pervasive that a recent YouGov survey by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (or CALM), a suicide prevention non-profit, found that a fifth of young women who sought help for mental health were told they were simply being “dramatic.”

It’s positively Victorian.

And it’s no wonder that, when doctors don’t take women’s symptoms seriously, women don’t take doctors seriously either. So where are women turning to compare notes and find support and relief instead? You guessed it: their social channels. Women are using social media to share symptoms, find comparable experiences, compare and contrast diagnoses, and – most importantly for brands – share products and remedies that have helped them find relief.

Here at People First, we’ve seen firsthand how women are using social channels to empower themselves and one another, and how communities of women are collaborating to share and recommend the wellness brands they love the most. Let’s look at three examples of health and wellness brands that invited women to speak their truth – these authentic stories helped women help one another, and helped the brand connect with and empower more people, too.

When it comes to women’s wellness and social media, it’s absolutely best to let women speak for themselves. As one woman noted while discussing her medical frustrations and overcoming them with the support of her online community: “social media saved me,” and as the three brands above can attest: that’s a women’s history worth making.

That’s the power of putting people first in your marketing.